At the risk that this is totally obvious, it is quite easy to pre-protect the 5.8 crux at the bottom of this route. There is a small tree near the base. Put one foot on the tree and the other foot on the arete and then stand up. Put a number 2 yellow camalot in the crack above the crux move and then jump down. The move is a relatively easy lieback which you now do with a toprope.
I definitely enjoyed The Groove - a very unusual route, a good warmup and a great way to head up to the Main Wall.
Call me weak if you will, but after several attempts on the opening crux, I French-freed it, using a #4 BD stopper in a small crack to the right of the main crack. The stopper didn't look too great, but it held both of us to get started up the route. The opening is quite tricky and insecure and seems as though it would be easier for taller folks.
The rest of the pitch protected almost entirely with small-med nuts - our biner of two each BD #3-9 nuts had three pieces left at the top of the pitch. Fun climbing, all mantles and stemming, and some unbelievable great, giant dike-jugs.
For the start of the second pitch, our leader found a pretty easy passage about 15' left of the belay. While seconding I actually headed about 5' right of the belay, and after one moderate mantle (5.7 on large dikes) the rest of the pitch was very easy.
Decent route, be ready for some funky stemming on the first pitch! The pro is good, but there is very little crack climbing involved with quite a bit of smearing and mantling. Pitch 2 goes by very quickly and is somewhat trivial but still fun.
The first pitch is a fun lead. I agree with Charlie: "Mantle Mania" describes the climb. The 2nd pitch is trivial in difficulty. You don't need any pro larger than 2-2.5 on this climb. IMO -I'm glad the bolt anchor at the end of the first pitch is there.
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 7, 2002 - 04:50pm
The Groove can easily and quite safely be led all the
way to the top using all passive pro -- with a 60 meter
rope. Med and large hexes will make a bomber belay at top.
You can also simulate the experience of the FA party by
NOT clipping into or belaying from the RETROBOLTED anchor
100' up. (that this hasn't been chopped is a small miracle)
I would strongly recommend NOT rapping off halfway up
the route. You are likely to hit someone with your rope
who is starting up this popular route, especially weekends.
Also, this requires leaving ugly and annoying poot slings.
Please do the right thing and leave expensive gear instead.
It is also possible to rap to the ground from the first pitch anchors using a 60m rope. It is also possible to easily traverse on dikes from the upper part of the first pitch of The Farce. This allows you to quickly do a single pitch climb on the way down from the top of the Lower Buttress without the need to repeat the descent. Useful for squeezing in a extra pitch.
Mill Valley, CA
Jul 13, 2002 - 10:25pm
This climb could also be called Mantle Mania - there's lots of mantling. I found the mantle on the first ptich to be the crux of the route - a high reaching mantle above a kind of shallow depression which required stemming, friction and getting a good fingers in the crack. The mantle off the anchor is not that challenging. Second pitch is simply to get you to the top. I ran it out all the way. Lots of big dikes, lots of them. Enjoyable climb.
A view from Hogsback.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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